President Trump is gearing up for a trip to Japan this weekend for the G-20 summit, where he’ll be face-to-face with such world leaders as Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China.
Prior to his trip, the president is engaging in a contentious feud with a star women’s soccer player on the U.S. national team.
It started earlier this week when, per The Inquisitr, Trump was asked in an interview whether he approves of Rapinoe’s protest during the national anthem. The player, who in the past has knelt during the anthem out of solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and other athletes who do so, now merely refuses to sing along with it.
“No. I don’t think so,” Trump said in the interview with The Hill, although he did not bring up the subject, and went on to praise the women’s national team, stating that “I love watching women’s soccer.”
The video appeared to have been taken prior to the World Cup and Trump’s comments. In the full Eight By Eight interview, Rapinoe added that she doubts that the team would even be invited, and that while she doesn’t know exactly how all of her teammates vote, she hopes that none of them voted for Trump.
“[Trump] tries to avoid inviting a team that might decline. Or, like he did when the Warriors turned him down, he’ll claim they hadn’t been invited in the first place.”
Meet Megan Rapinoe.— David Beard (@dabeard) June 26, 2019
—The first white athlete to kneel during the National Anthem in support of @Kaepernick7.
—Outspoken about LGBTQ rights as well as racial and gender equality.
—The heart of US women's soccer.https://t.co/WLs63QeUQg #USWNT #Pride pic.twitter.com/i6qA2eOm7U
The comments appeared to have set the president off. He sent a series of tweets Wednesday morning in which he went off on both Rapinoe and the recent decision by the NBA to back away from using the word “owner” in reference to the people who own teams.
“I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS!,” Trump said in one of the tweets.
He went on to declare that he was indeed inviting the team to the White House, whether they win or lose the World Cup.
“Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team,” the president concluded.
Rapinoe has, in fact, been a part of a World Cup-winning team, in 2015, and the team indeed visited the White House under President Barack Obama, per Bleacher Report. The team, per a White House tweet, was introduced by a then-13-year-old girl named Aya Ludlow, who had written President Obama a letter about how women’s sports don’t get enough attention.